Dr. Mark Boggess has been selected as the new director for the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wis., beginning May 19. He succeeds Dr. Neal Martin, who directed the Center from 1999 to 2013.

A native of Iowa, he earned a PhD in animal breeding from Iowa State University; an MS in animal breeding from Cornell University; and a BS in animal science from Iowa State.

Boggess has been with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Beltsville, Md., since 2009.  He began his career with ARS as the National Program Leader in Food Animal Production. More recently he assumed similar duties for the Pasture, Forage and Rangeland Systems program. In these roles he provided primary leadership for ARS research across the U.S., including programs for genetics and genomics, nutrition, reproductive physiology, animal welfare and meat quality. He also provided leadership to develop and integrate improved pasture and rangeland management practices and land-use/renovation strategies. These programs are focused on optimizing economic viability and environmental sustainability for diverse stakeholder groups responsible for managing forages, vegetation, livestock and natural resources on private and public lands. 

The U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center also has a research farm in Prairie du Sac, Wis., and an Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research Unit in Marshfield, Wis. Eighteen scientists conduct research to improve the utilization of forages in dairy cattle diets and to reduce the environmental impact of dairy farm systems. Visit http://ars.usda.gov/mwa/madison/dfrc.